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INTEGRATED OIL PALM-BASED AGROFORESTRY SYSTEMS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA : PRODUCTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY C. DEVENDRA ( Consulting Tropical Animal Production Specialist , 130A Jalan Awan Jawa, 58200 Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia )
Asian integrated systems • Characterised by diversity of mixed crop-animal farming systems • Provide 90% of the milk, 77% of the ruminant meat, 47% of pork and poultry meat, and 31% of the eggs • Past growth trends indicate (Steinfeld, 1999) : • Mixed farming systems (2.2% / yr) • Industrial systems (4.3% / yr), and • Pastoral systems (0.7% / yr).
Categories of integrated systems Systems combining animals and annual cropping are of two sub-types:- Systems involving non-ruminants, ponds and fish eg. Vegetables- pigs –ducks- fish systems ( Vietnam ) , Rice – maize- vegetables- sweet potatoes – pigs – dairy cattle ( China ) Systems involving ruminants eg. Maize- groundnuts/ soya bean – goats systems (Indonesia), Rice- finger millet- rice – goats (Nepal). Systems combining animals and perennial cropping are of two sub-types:- Systems involving ruminants eg. Coconuts – sheep integration (Philippines ); oil palm – cattle integration (Malaysia) Systems involving non-ruminants eg. Oil palm – chickens integration (Malaysia ).
THE OIL PALM ENVIRONMENT:CONDUCIVE PRODUCTION ATTRIBUTES • Forage DM availability : 2.99- 2.16 mt / ha for 3 and 5 year old palms reducing to 435-628 kg / ha for 10-29 year old palms (Chen et al., 1991) • 60-70 forage species in young palms , which are reduced by about 66 % in older palms • Forage categories : 56-64 % grasses, 18-23 dicotyledons , 3-19 % legumes and 2-15 % ferns for 3- 10 year old palms , and 50 % grasses, 13 % dicotyledons , 2 % legumes and 35 % ferns ( Wong and Chin, 1988 ) • About 72- 93 % of the forages are palatable and of value to ruminants • Carrying capacity : 3 steers / ha in 3-4 year old palms to 0.3-0.4 steers /ha with over 7 year old palms , and • The under- storey forage cover presents enables breeding animals and use in situ the range of CR and AIBP from oil palm.
Types of ruminant-oil palm interactions 1). Beneficial effects of shade on livestock 2). Draught animal power on land preparation and crop growth 3). Effects of dung and urine on soil fertility and crop growth 4). Use of crop residues and AIBP from trees insitu 5). Use of native vegetation and effects on cost of weed control, crop management and crop growth, and 6). Type of animal production systems (extensive, systems combing arable cropping, and systems integrated with tree cropping).
oil palm fronds oil palm fruits palm press fiber kernel AVAILABLE FEEDS FROM THE OIL PALM
ECONOMIC IMPACTS Summary from 21 case studies involving cattle :- 1).Increased animal production and income Due to increased productivity and meat offtakes 2). Increased yield of FFB and income By about 30 %, and measures of 0.49 – 3.52 mt / ha / yr. 3). Savings in weeding costs By about 47- 60 %, equivalent to 21 – 62 RM / ha / yr. 4). Internal rate of return (IRR) The IRR of cattle under integration was 19% based on actual field data. 5). Potential further income Integration with goats can potentially further increase income.
CONSTRAINTS TO INTEGRATION Include inter alia the following:- • Poor awareness of the potential of integrated systems eg. oil palm and ruminants • Resistance by the crop- oriented plantation sector • Inadequate technology application • Problems in the supplies of animals • High prices for crude palm oil • Unattractive investment climate • Weak inter-agency-private sector collaboration, and • Absence of policies to promote integrated systems.
CONCLUSIONS • Integrated ruminant – oil palm systems are potentially very important and are underestimated • Ruminants enhance increased animal protein supplies, value addition in the oil palm and sustainable development • Wider adoption of the systems is constrained by a lack of policy, high prices for crude palm oil, complacency, and inadequate technology application • The economic impacts are considerable and are highlighted in several case studies including C sequestration • Demonstrable environmental sustainability is evident , and • Overcoming the constraints and building partnerships between various agencies and the private sector constitute the challenges for the immediate future.